Side Effects Of Braces For Adults

May 10, 2021

There are many benefits of orthodontic care, including correcting bite issues, jaw problems, a beautiful smile, and renewed confidence. But like any medical or dental procedure, there is the risk of side effects or complications. There are side effects of braces that are quite common, and then there are complications, while minimal, that can happen. The experts at Utah Orthodontic Care share this important information on the side effects of braces for adults.

Common Side Effects

Your teeth have been in their current position for a long time, and now they are being asked to move, so there are some common side effects you may experience, including:

  • Discomfort
    Braces do their job by shifting your teeth into proper alignment, so you will likely feel some discomfort when you first get them and when they are adjusted. Some people get headaches as well. Taking over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen should relieve the pain. However, if the pain or headaches become worse, contact your orthodontist to ensure no other issues are causing the discomfort.
  • Irritation
    Braces are made from brackets and wires that are placed on your teeth, and it will take a little time for you to get used to the braces. You may experience irritation on the inside of your cheeks. Orthodontic wax to the rescue! You can place the wax over the braces where it feels irritated for instant relief. If you have a wire that is poking your cheek or is causing bleeding, contact your orthodontist so you can get in to have it repaired.
  • Pain in the Jaw
    If part of your orthodontic treatment includes realigning your jaw, you will likely have a sore jaw. Again, take over-the-counter pain relievers to help manage the pain. This can also happen when you get adjustments.
  • Trouble Eating
    When you first get your braces, eating and chewing will be difficult, and you may also experience this after adjustments. You should prepare for this by having soft foods on hand until this side effect passes.
  • Teeth that Relapse
    Some people find that their teeth will move back to their previous position after their braces are removed. It is critical to wear your retainer after your braces are removed to prevent this from happening.

Complications from Braces

While there is a slim chance that a complication will arise from wearing braces, it can happen. These include:

  • Tooth Decay
    When you are wearing braces, it is critical that you practice the best oral hygiene, including brushing after every meal and flossing at least twice per day. The nooks and crannies of braces are the perfect breeding ground for bacteria which turns into plaque, and ultimately tooth decay, or even gum disease. If you do have tooth decay that needs to be treated, it may delay your orthodontic treatment.
  • Decalcification
    Sometimes when braces are removed, patients will have white spots on their teeth, known as decalcification. This is a result of poor hygiene and a diet that contains too much sugar. Try to limit the amount of sugar you consume, as well as keeping up with brushing and flossing.
  • Allergic Reactions
    Some patients have an allergic reaction to the latex rubber in the elastics used or to the metal. In these situations, other alternative metals can be used, as well as elastics that are free of latex. Make sure you inform your orthodontist about any known allergies.
  • Root Resorption
    During the time you are wearing braces, you can experience root resorption, which shortens the roots of your teeth. Typically, it is a slight diminishing of the root tip that will not cause any long-term problems, but there are instances where the root is shortened by half, impacting your oral health. Your orthodontist should regularly take x-rays to watch for root resorption.
  • Ankylosis
    This is a rare condition where the tooth root fuses to the bone, and braces will not move fused teeth. If you have ankylosis, the surrounding teeth will move around the fused teeth resulting in an improper alignment. While this condition is difficult to predict, your orthodontist may be able to identify it on x-rays.

Contact Utah Orthodontic Care for Affordable Braces Today!

It is unlikely that you will experience complications from braces, but it is important to be aware of possible side effects. In addition to a beautiful, healthy smile, we believe that everyone should have access to affordable orthodontic care. Please contact us to schedule a consultation or to ask questions. We would be happy to discuss all of your treatment options and financial solutions for creating your new smile!